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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

Plot Summary: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

*Recognition: One of three winners of the Big Five (Picture, Director (Jonathan Demme), Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Actress (Jodie Foster), and (Adapted) Screenplay); it was also Nominated for Best Film Editing and Best Sound; On AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies – #65, AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills – #5, AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains: Clarice Starling – #6 Hero, Hannibal Lecter – #1 Villain, AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes: "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." – #21, AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – #74

What is this movie is about?: An insidious and brilliant serial killer aides an equally brilliant up-and-coming FBI student in catching the FBI's current obsession.

Best Performance: Anthony Hopkins

Best Minor Performance: Ted Levine/Scott Glenn

Most Charismatic Award: Anthony Hopkins

Best Scene: First meeting with Lecter, Final Confrontation with Buffalo Bill

Favorite Scene: First Meeting with Lecter

Most Indelible Moment: First Meeting with Lecter

Best Line:

Lecter: “You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition's given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling?”

Starling: “You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don't you... why don't you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you're afraid to.”

Lecter: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

Honorable Mention:

Lecter: “I do wish we could chat longer, but... I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye.”

Funniest Line:


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 9

Impact/Significance: 9

Novelty: 8.75

Classic-ness: 9.5

Rewatchability: 6.25

Audience Score: 9.5

Total: 52

Remaining Questions:

  • How was Lecter even caught in the first place?

  • What was it about Starling that made Crawford send her to Lecter?

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